Global Energy Monitor


Global Energy Monitor’s Global Oil Infrastructure Tracker (GOIT) uses a two-level system for organizing information, consisting of both a database and wiki pages with further information. The database tracks individual pipeline phases and includes information such as project owner, status, and location. A wiki page for each project is created within the Global Energy Monitor wiki. The database and wiki pages are updated annually.

Inclusion Criteria

GOIT includes oil and natural gas liquids (NGL) transmission pipelines. Distribution and gathering pipelines are not included. Historically, a capacity threshold was used for inclusion, but GOIT now aims to comprehensively track all transmission pipelines longer than 100 km that carry oil or NGL. We also attempt to track shorter pipelines, especially those that are newly proposed or under construction.

Status Categories

Proposed: A company or government has proposed a project.

Construction: Site preparation or other construction activities have begun.

Shelved: Two years have passed with no development on a project after the proposal, or it has been announced as shelved. This status is also used for projects for which construction is complete but they have not entered operation.

Cancelled: Four years have passed with no development on a project after being proposed, or cancellation has been announced, or the project once appeared in company documents and is no longer in them.

Operating: The project has been formally commissioned; commercial operation has begun.

Idle: The project was at one time operational and now sits unused, but has not formally mothballed.

Mothballed: The project has been formally taken offline, but not yet decommissioned.

Retired: The project has been decommissioned.

Research Process

Pipeline data are collected from and validated through five main sources:

  • Government data on individual pipelines, country energy and resource plans/documents, and government websites tracking gas plant permits and applications
  • Reports by state-owned and private power companies
  • News and media reports
  • Local non-governmental organizations tracking oil pipelines or permits
  • On-the-ground contacts who can provide first-hand information about a project

Wiki Pages

For each pipeline project, a wiki page is created on Global Energy Monitor’s wiki. Wiki pages provide a repository for in-depth information including project background, financing, environmental impacts, public opposition, and routes. Under standard wiki convention, all information is linked to a published reference, such as a news article, company or government report, or a regulatory permit. In order to ensure data integrity in the open-access wiki environment, Global Energy Monitor researchers review all edits of project wiki pages.

Route Mapping

Pipeline routes are generated by tracing images of route maps when found in the public domain using QGIS. If no map visual can be found, the route is approximated based on the written information (start and end points, and potential midpoints). 

In some cases a route may be missing and the pipeline is absent from the map, but it is still tracked in the database.

As of June 2022, route mapping is prioritized in this way:

  1. For pipelines longer than 100 km in length, we attempt to have a medium- or high-resolution route. We prioritize pipelines that are proposed, under construction, and operating. If we are unable to find a route map to trace in GIS software, we approximate it, typically with a straight line or a curve with a few intermediate points.
  2. For pipelines whose lengths are not available from research, we attempt to include at least a low-resolution route in the database and Wiki page, so that we can approximate the pipeline’s length using this route.
  3. For projects less than 100 km in length, we prioritize mapping routes that have easily available routes online (via maps or shapefiles).

If you have questions about the methodology or GOIT, please contact Baird Langenbrunner.